October 28, 2013

A Few Last Preparations For NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo web badge of 2012.

    NaNoWriMo is right around the corner.  I can practically smell it.  How about you?  Are you ready?  Today I have a few suggestions for being prepared for the impending challenge, whether you are a pantser or a planner or something in between.

Care For Yourself

    Eat well and get some good shut eye.  There is a good chance that in the effort to make our word count goals we will sacrifice sleep and not make best food choices.  How about starting the month off in good health?  Whatever is your optimal amount of sleep be sure to get it at least these last couple nights before the midnight bells toll, signaling  the beginning of our epic adventures.   Also, and I am sure you have heard this advice before, drink plenty of water.  Dehydration is a miserable state to be in.  It can cause headaches, nausea, and vomiting.  None of these symptoms are conducive to writing a novel.  So drink plenty of water and start November right.  Basically take care of your health.  P.S. This includes your mental health too.  Be good to yourself.

Clean Your Space

    As with our health it is very likely that our chores will fall to the wayside.  So tidy up some of your space now.  Dishes in the sink?  You won't want to have to do them when you'd rather be writing.  Bathroom needs a little bit of cleaning?  Get it done in October.  Your work space.  Ah the work space.  Every year I decide that I want to get it cleaned up before NaNoWriMo.  Haven't been successful with that any year so far.  Maybe this will be the year I clean my desk by Halloween.

Story note cards
One of many NaNo prep ideas.  Quick referance note cards.

NaNo Prep

    This means something different for each person.  Even if you are going to start off NaNoWriMo with a blank sheet and write whatever comes to mind there is still some prep you could do to be prepared.  Maybe you could make a list of prompts in case you have no idea what to do next in the story.  Check out Oblique Strategies for ideas.  Maybe a collection of inspiring pictures is more up your alley.  Or maybe rather than having to search through your extensive notes you could write  important notes on note cards.  Like a mini character sheet with a basic description and some important points.  Maybe even have note cards for locations.  This is entirely up to you.  Whatever you think will help you in November.  Try to prepare it now rather than being distracted by it later.

Feed Your Muse

    Do things, read things, watch things, eat things, listen to things, enjoy things that inspire you!  “Fill the well” as Julia Cameron says.  Let your mind flow with ideas and give it new images and activities to chew on.  Read your favorite blogs.  Finish that book you have been loving all month.  Get lost on pinterest.  Allow your mind to wander.  Learn something new.  Have fun.

Set Goals

    In order to complete the 50K word challenge you need to write at least 1667 words each day.  This will be easier some days than others. This is the time to set your goals for finishing your novel.  Some people like to write extra in the first week.  Word count goals aren't the only kind of goal you can set though.  You could set story goals.  What plot point would yo like to reach by 6K words?  Or maybe your goal is simply not to drink all the caffeine in your house by November 5th.  Having goals can be a great way to stay on track.  For some people having goals to achieve is a source of motivation.  Now is a good time to set some goals for yourself and your novel.  If you'd like further enticement for those extra tough days, maybe you could pick out some little rewards for the milestones throughout the month.  

    What other things could you do to prepare yourself for November the first?  Leave your ideas in the comments below.  I’d really love to hear to hear them.

Writing Responce

    Last weeks writing exercise was to describe a location in 100 words or lees.  Here is my response.

By Lilian Brennan

    The smell of dust,  wood, and aged books fills the air.  Dark wooden floors support the towering shelves.  Heavy wooden tables stretch out in the open spaces.  Their surfaces scattered with books and scrolls.  In dusty half-forgotten nooks plush, cushy chairs wait to be read in.  Archways and doorways open into smaller rooms each with its own purpose.  The brass railings lead up the stairways to the upper floors.  Sounds echo off the coarse stone walls and visitor try to be quiet for each others benefit.  Librarians diligently replace the tomes to the innumerable shelve with precision.  

Writing Exercise: Oblique Strategies

    Go to Oblique Strategies.  What did it say?  Now write a poem.


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